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  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Witness3 View Post
    So, it's something like this: there are certain qualities to bloodlines that are compatible between each other (otherwise you could not absorb blood points from a different bloodline), and there are qualities that are competitive. The former seems to be tied to the powers strength (more blood = more powers), while the latter is tied to your nature (each bloodline = different set of powers).

    This points out that, while sticking to a certain bloodline, your actual essence is indeed a mixture from essences from the previous gods.
    Precisely my thoughts, though it then begs the question: where does the power end and the nature take over? Because, in the end, its the nature of the bloodline that ultimately determines what form the power takes.

    Hence, my conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Witness3 View Post
    I think The gorgon would stay the same in body but die in a few months or so. he's 3000+ old and he's not an elf. He's not meant to live that long.
    Well, more like about 1550 years. But, yes, he might lose his long life blood ability, which should mean that he ages rapidly and dies.

    Hence my questions of this thread. I'm of the opinion that scions should maintain as many of their former blood abilities as possible during a derivation change, which would eliminate this possible problem in the above quote (although that's a delicious piece of karma, the Gorgon meeting his demise in such a way).

    Quote Originally Posted by Witness3 View Post
    Here is however, an idea I got from the Blood Enemies (was it?) companion: When does the line between mortal and god ends? By collecting enough divine essence, you may one day have enough power to rival a god, maybe becoming a god yourself. This is how the new gods become so: they were in the first line of battle, and so absorbed so much more divine blood from the old gods. The gorgon never understood why Kriesha and Belinik become gods and he's not. Power is the reason IMHO the Gorgon and other Anwsheghs collect so much blood.
    Indeed, and that is the current premise of my campaign.

    The 3e rules peg the Gorgon's bloodline at 60 points (120, by the 2e scoring system), so clearly that's not quite enough. When is a bloodline score considered demi-god status?

    I'd be curious to know what everyone else thinks is the magic number...

    Quote Originally Posted by Witness3 View Post
    Yes, but it's not D&D-related. Madness. IIIRC all with the blood of Azrai have a raging madness that worsens with each bloodform. Reasoning Awnsheghs are lunatic, prone to anger, while other lose their humanity and become animals (as the Seadrake did). Animals may instead gain some sort of intelligence. This is often used as a plot device (why the gorgon will not erase your brecht domain in a year when you conquered his vassal Kiergard? Because he's mad, thats why!) But may be an alternate goal for "bloodline purification": with power comes a price, maybe they are tired of paying such price.
    Yes, hence why I think alignment should play a part in this, and why I believe that a scion's bloodline (and its derivation) does influence the scion who has it and, thus, a derivation's energy is imbued with the essence of the former god, and thus, it is not merely "raw energy". One informs the other.

    But... by how much?

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizz View Post
    So, short of the last one, it would take a very long time to change one's derivation by collecting energy of a different derivation. And nearly every event would need to target the same derivation. For example, consider a character that starts with a bloonline of Brenna, score of 20. They slay a scion of Reynir, and raises their bloodline to 22 total (20 Brenna, 2 Reynir). Then they fell another scion of Reynir for 24 total (20 Brenna, 4 Reynir), etc etc.

    In The Book of Regency, there is a section about becoming an awnshegh. This includes some rules for whether a blooded character becomes overwhelmed by the taint of Azrai, and there are some complicated rules for whether the character's bloodline is forcibly changed to that of Azrai's.
    Yes, I think this was the original intent of the rules. But then, they had another idea for Azrai's derivation, which was that it was very easy to change to, but they didn't have enough time (or they forgot) to clarify what either meant... until the Book of Regency for the latter, since Ed Stark brought the problem to print with Legends of the Hero Kings.

    So, what to do about it...?

  3. #13
    Senior Member Doyle's Avatar
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    Like a lot of the rules in 2e, I found that this was another that was up for interpretation based on what can we keep consistent in a rule & what feels right for the flavour of the campaign. As a DM I might say 'don't worry about tracking that, I'll just spring a nasty surprise on you later' (the characters should have almost no idea how it works) after coming to an agreement with the players at the start.

    Now that I'm running the game in 5e and will need a way of rationalising a mechanic that is 'not from the official 5e rules', while keeping it close to the original rules and flavour. So, my take on the original bloodline for a scion at Deismaar is that there is a mix of absorbed by most scions, with the dominant bloodline being based on proximity to the god the scion followed and that characters alignment (generally still the god that they followed).
    Birth bloodline would be based on the parent with the higher bloodline score unless both are the same (or within 10%), where we move to weighted random chance. On d20, 1-9 = parent 1 bloodline, 10-18 = parent 2 bloodline, 19-20 = roll a d6 to determine which of the remaining 5 recessive bloodlines (double chance for Azrai) becomes the dominant.
    Bloodline change by bloodtheft (or some spell mechanic) - this was initially only as part of the "Curse of Azrai", and allowed for a percentage chance (1% per point gained) of the bloodline changing to Azrai. However, after reading this, I'm tempted to have the chance of this for any derivation absorbed in bloodtheft.

    A note on the blood abilities changed, IIRC it did state in the original rules that only the abilities not compatible with the Azrai bloodline changed, the others remained as is.
    Doyle

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by masterdaorin View Post
    Well, this is the crux of my changed beliefs on bloodlines. Is bloodline energy merely "raw energy"? Or does it still contain the essence of the god that it belonged to?
    The source material doesn't seem to support that it's "neutral god energy", for lack of a better word.
    In both the 2nd ed Core Rulebook and the 3E conversion, when bloodtheft occurs the blood score increases, but doesn't change the future abilities that might be gained. There is no mechanism in any source that says you have to keep track of how much of each derivation you've gained.

    The only time that derivation seems to be changeable is during bloodtheft (per 3E rules discussed in my other post) if the slain's bloodline is stronger than the usurper.

    I'm not of the belief that Azrai's blood is stronger than the other derivations... just more seductive, quicker, easier to change to. And, likewise, it's probably harder to change away from it.
    I don't think 2nd Ed makes a direct statement of such, but in the 3E conversion (found on this site) it is. If the usurped bloodline is stronger than the character's, the character makes a check to resist the derivation change. There is an effective -10 penalty if the incoming derivation is Azrai, justified as "The corrupting influence of the dark god’s bloodline is particularly difficult to resist".

    So i guess it depends on how one means "strength". The blood abilities of Azrai may not be stronger than any other derivation, but the essence may be more difficult to resist even before it takes hold.

    However, I'm not convinced anymore that alignment doesn't (or shouldn't) play a role in this. After all, there is canon precedence that implies that those of Azrai have feelings and urges related to evilness, and those of Anduiras lean more toward being just and noble. Presumably, the other derivations do as well (Reynir scions are more nature-orientated, Masela hear the call of sea, etc.)
    But there is also precedent for characters that have Azrai's bloodline but are good- Teodor Profiev, for example. If there is a trend, it could be historical. Due to proximity to their deity, there was an immediate dichotomy of bloodlines post-Deismaar. And that dichotomy would have followed back to their home regions where they remain predominant today. So any correlation of alignment with derivation may not require direct causation. After all, the average Anuirean was certainly more just and noble than the average Vos even before Deismaar- such people would naturally follow them whether they have a bloodline or not.

    And, of course, we have to also consider what happens at conception, when two parents of different derivations have a child. That's the most natural, and principle, instance of derivation change to occur to a scion. Which bloodline wins out? And does the child still have the "loser" parent's derivation in them still?
    That is one that is actually covered. The original Core rulebook specifies that the child gains the derivation of the parent with the stronger bloodline, and the child's bloodline strength is the average value of the parents'. There is no mention of the lesser's derivation.

    It's things like the above that are why i like treating deific energy and derivation are independent things; that the derivation shapes the raw energy. It's like adding a flavouring extract to basic ice cream. The extract makes all the flavour difference.

    I think the rules of how to handle bloodlines was written to be deliberately a bit vague. Unlike later editions, AD&D 2nd did not feel the need to have rules for everything, the DM actually got to decide things! So i don't think there is any one right answer to any of these questions. What matters is how you want it to be in your game.


    -Fizz
    Last edited by Fizz; 01-03-2023 at 01:38 AM.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Doyle's Avatar
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    Well, more like about 1550 years. But, yes, he might lose his long life blood ability, which should mean that he ages rapidly and dies.
    Perhaps not.
    Unlike an ability where the the aging process is unnaturally halted and then suddenly catches up when the ability is removed (old vampires turning to dust, etc.), the long life blood ability is worded as "..ages only one year for every five that pass.", every 25 for major or "...only one year for each century." for great, and it specifies the Gorgon as an example.

    For the sake of calculation, if we assume Prince Raesene was 20 when gaining his powers (from cannon, he may have only been 16 still), for the 1,500 years following he has only aged 15. If he lost long life and bloodform, he would still have the body of a 35-36 year old - still quite in his prime.
    Last edited by Doyle; 01-03-2023 at 12:22 AM. Reason: grammar
    Doyle

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doyle View Post
    Perhaps not.
    Unlike an ability where the the aging process is unnaturally halted and then suddenly catches up when the ability is removed (old vampires turning to dust, etc.), the long life blood ability is worded as "..ages only one year for every five that pass.", every 25 for major or "...only one year for each century." for great, and it specifies the Gorgon as an example.
    I agree with this. I don't think there is any "catching up" to be done here. The blood power changes their physiology. Upon losing the ability he regains his normal physiology, and just resumes aging as a normal human.

    -Fizz
    Last edited by Fizz; 01-03-2023 at 03:21 AM.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Doyle View Post
    A note on the blood abilities changed, IIRC it did state in the original rules that only the abilities not compatible with the Azrai bloodline changed, the others remained as is.
    I seem to recall as well, but darned if I can find it... maybe in the BoR? Haven't re-read that one yet...

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizz View Post
    In both the 2nd ed Core Rulebook and the 3E conversion, when bloodtheft occurs the blood score increases, but doesn't change the future abilities that might be gained. There is no mechanism in any source that says you have to keep track of how much of each derivation you've gained.
    I wasn't necessarily implying that we'd need a tracking mechanism. Only that derivations other than Azrai probably have a chance to overwhelm a scion's current bloodline.

    It seems to make sense, now that I think about it, considering the nature of bloodlines. That's why I wanted to see what everyone else here thinks about bloodlines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizz View Post
    So i guess it depends on how one means "strength". The blood abilities of Azrai may not be stronger than any other derivation, but the essence may be more difficult to resist even before it takes hold.
    And, if that's true, then derivation and score are necessarily linked. Azrai's "taint" suffuses the essence that he gave out, and those that (can) possess it still gain that within the bloodline they receive from him...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizz View Post
    But there is also precedent for characters that have Azrai's bloodline but are good- Teodor Profiev, for example. If there is a trend, it could be historical. Due to proximity to their deity, there was an immediate dichotomy of bloodlines post-Deismaar. And that dichotomy would have followed back to their home regions where they remain predominant today. So any correlation of alignment with derivation may not require direct causation. After all, the average Anuirean was certainly more just and noble than the average Vos even before Deismaar- such people would naturally follow them whether they have a bloodline or not.
    True, but if derivation and score are linked, then causation could be argued.

    My sense from the canon has such people as Teodor having a harder time being good. Statistically speaking, scions of Azrai are less likely to be good than scions of other derivations - and have a harder time remaining so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizz View Post
    That is one that is actually covered. The original Core rulebook specifies that the child gains the derivation of the parent with the stronger bloodline, and the child's bloodline strength is the average value of the parents'. There is no mention of the lesser's derivation.

    It's things like the above that are why i like treating deific energy and derivation are independent things; that the derivation shapes the raw energy. It's like adding a flavouring extract to basic ice cream. The extract makes all the flavour difference.
    If that were true, then derivation would be irrelevant, other than as a label to say "you're just like [old god]".

    And this is precisely one of my questions: where does derivation come from? Does it come from within each individual, or from the god who gave the deific energy?

    The canon seems to imply that a little essence of the old god still imbues their deific energy that gets passed down and around.

    Which brings up a new question: Do the new gods still have influence over the deific energy that they now embody?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizz View Post
    I think the rules of how to handle bloodlines was written to be deliberately a bit vague. Unlike later editions, AD&D 2nd did not feel the need to have rules for everything, the DM actually got to decide things! So i don't think there is any one right answer to any of these questions. What matters is how you want it to be in your game.
    Yea, unfortunately. And, while true, I still like to come here and seek consensus from you great gamers for your thoughts on these tough questions!

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Doyle View Post
    Perhaps not.
    Unlike an ability where the the aging process is unnaturally halted and then suddenly catches up when the ability is removed (old vampires turning to dust, etc.), the long life blood ability is worded as "..ages only one year for every five that pass.", every 25 for major or "...only one year for each century." for great, and it specifies the Gorgon as an example.
    Well, I'd like to agree with you, and the above is my preference, but now that I think about it...

    Are bloodlines "natural"?

    It seems to me, the more that I think about it, that they are not natural at all. In terms of the long life blood ability, it "unnaturally halts" the aging process - while you have it.

    You can instantly lose your bloodline, after all...

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizz View Post
    It's things like the above that are why i like treating deific energy and derivation are independent things; that the derivation shapes the raw energy. It's like adding a flavouring extract to basic ice cream. The extract makes all the flavour difference.
    Don't get me wrong, Fizz, I like this idea, but if that's true then that generates a whole new set of questions, and seems to fly in the face of the source material. Let me see if I have this right:

    A scion is born. He is born with a certain amount of raw energy. Since this is divine energy, the scion's own "divine essence" shapes that deific energy into something that is akin to the essence that was [old god] and, as such, after the scion hits puberty, the scion manifests a certain number of divine abilities that [the aforementioned old god] also could perform.

    Thus, in essence, a scion's bloodline is individual to that particular scion alone.

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